Public Power Corp. (PPC), the Greek state-owned energy company, has won a tender to build a solar-plus-storage project on the Greek island of Astypalaia.
The Aegean island of Astypalaia has attracted attention in recent years because Volkswagen has chosen it as a test bed for its intelligent mobility pilots. The German automaker and the Greek government launched a pilot project in 2021 to offer smart mobility services, such as ride-hailing and car-sharing services, based on electric vehicles. The intelligent mobility pilot lasts at least six years.
Critics have said the island of about 1,500 permanent residents still gets most of its electricity from diesel generators. Now, however, that is about to change.
PPC Renewables CEO Konstantinos Mavros said pv magazine that construction of the solar-plus storage facility is expected to begin in about six months. The system will be fully operational in about 20 months and will cover half of Astypalaia’s electricity needs. The current diesel generators will remain in place to provide electricity to the rest of the island.
Mavros said PPC Renewables is committed to expanding the hybrid project in about three to four years to cover more than 80% of the island’s electricity needs. However, Astypalaia is not the only Greek island that is moving towards a green and smart energy future. pv magazine recently presented a list of smart projects currently operating on the Greek islands of Naxos, Halki and Tilos, for example.
In 2021, the Greek government launched the “Gr-Eco Islands Initiative”, which aims to introduce green technology in the Aegean archipelago. The initiative includes a broad map of planned sustainable actions and an investment pot of 100 million euros ($99 million), but the government has yet to publish a policy framework that will actually translate this initiative into a concrete policy and plan.
Switching to renewable energy, especially on small islands that are not connected to the Greek mainland grid, is a priority. But it is not only due to environmental reasons, because generating electricity with diesel generators costs Greece millions of euros every year. All Greek electricity consumers pay for this with subsidies that could be easily removed or significantly removed with renewable energy systems.